Hamilton Boyd has been set up to manage the catering for the state rooms at Northumberland House near Trafalgar Square, London, where Boyd has taken a 15-year lease.
The historic building comprises two ballrooms, seating 500 and 600 guests respectively, a salon seating 80 and 10 smaller rooms, which Boyd will market for "film premieres, conferences, parties, exams and so on". There is also a public brasserie and bar that will open this November. In addition, Hamilton Boyd will manage the meeting rooms for the Grand Hotel, which is the main occupier of the building.
This is an additional project for Boyd, who sold his company Chester Boyd to Charlton House for a sum believed to be over £5m in 2007, and he will continue in his role at the independent caterer.
However, Boyd plans to exploit the close links, and in a potentially lucrative move, will outsource sales and promotion to Chester Boyd while back-of-house services such as payroll and HR will be outsourced to Charlton House.
Boyd, who described his investment in the new venture as "significant" predicted it would turn over £5m a year "quite quickly". He added that there were already three or four bookings worth £100,000 - and potentially a big event for August 2012.
Adrian Brain, commercial director at Chester Boyd, has also invested in the venture and will move over to Hamilton Boyd in a similar role.
"As both the venue-owner and the caterer we will operate more like a hotel and because we only have our own interests we can focus and be more competitive," explained Boyd.
Boyd added that he believed early 2010 was a good time to launch the business as in his view the economy would be improving: "I think things will get better in the run up to the Olympics - by early summer 2012 there will be no recession."
By Rosalind Mullen
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